Are You Proficient?

Friday, March 16, 2018

The term "proficiency" has been a part of the Pathfinder rules since the very beginning, but in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, we've expanded the concept to cover more than just weapons and armor. In the new proficiency system, your proficiency matters for just about every check you attempt and DC you have. You don't just have proficiency in weapons, which helps when you swing a sword, or proficiency in armor, which protects you when you try to avoid a blow—instead, proficiency covers everything from axes to spells, from Acrobatics to Thievery, and from Perception to Will saves. Your proficiency in Fortitude saves can allow you to shake off virulent poisons in an instant, and your proficiency in Diplomacy might help you stop a fight before it begins. There are five different ranks of proficiency.

Untrained

An untrained character lacks even basic proficiency. He adjusts his checks and DCs by –2 and sometimes flat-out can't attempt certain things. For instance, someone who is untrained in Thievery might be able to try to steal from someone but isn't skilled enough to pick a lock, no matter how high level he is.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Trained

A trained character has put in enough work that she's able to perform effectively. She can even start taking skill feats to achieve new and special effects with her skills. Many skill feats grow more and more powerful as your proficiency rank increases.

Expert

An expert is particularly accomplished in a particular field, adjusting her checks and DCs by +1, and gains access to more powerful features requiring expertise.

Master

A master is extremely skilled in an area, and she can achieve incredible results. In addition to adjusting her checks and DCs by +2, she may unlock powerful perks like master-level skill feats for skills, or the ability to dodge fireballs completely for Reflex saves. Other than a few classes like fighters, with their incredible command of weapons, characters can't become masters until level 7 at the earliest, and sometimes much later.

Legendary

A legendary character is world-class, and in addition to adjusting checks and DCs by +3, can routinely produce results that defy real-world explanation, even if they're not a spellcaster. For instance, a character who is legendary in Survival could learn to survive without food, water, or air in a featureless void, a character legendary in Thievery might be able to steal the armor off a guard, and a character with a legendary Will save might have a mind so strong that no mental intrusion can fully affect him. Most characters can't hope to become legendary until level 15 at the earliest, and even the mightiest fighters reach these heights with their weapons only at level 13. Most characters become legendary in only a few skills and one or two other statistics.

Proficiency Modifier

Your proficiency modifier is based partly on your rank and partly on your level—you add your level to the modifier from your rank to determine your proficiency modifier. For instance, a level 20 rogue who is legendary at Stealth might have a +23 proficiency modifier, while a level 1 paladin who is untrained at Stealth might have a –1 proficiency modifier. But does that mean that your level 20 untrained and magic-hating barbarian knows more about arcane magic than your friend's level 1 bibliophile wizard does? Not really. Your barbarian, with her extensive experience in battle, might be able to identify a dragon's weaknesses much better than the wizard with his ivory-tower book learning, but when it comes to magical theory, identifying the gestures that compose a spell, or other such topics, your barbarian simply doesn't know anything at all.

Gaining Proficiency

For most of your statistics, your starting proficiencies are determined by your class, though for skills, you can assign your ranks as you choose among any of the skills in the game. When it comes to leveling up, all classes gain skill rank increases at every odd-numbered level (or more often for the rogue!). Your other proficiencies increase based on your class and feat choices.

Making the Nonmagical Extraordinary

The best part about proficiencies is the way they push the boundaries for nonmagical characters, particularly those with a legendary rank. If you're legendary in something, you're like a character out of real-world myth and legend, swimming across an entire sea while beating up sea monsters like Beowulf, performing unbelievable tasks like Heracles, or hunting and racing at astounding speeds like Atalanta. While we did perform a bit of research on things like real world Olympic records and average expectations when it came to the lower ranks, masters and especially legends break all those rules. Want your fighter to leap 20 feet straight up and smash a chimera down to the ground? You can do that (eventually)!

And that's the basics of how proficiency works! Thanks for reading, and let us know what you think in the comments.

Mark Seifter
Designer

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No one has seemed to mention that in PF1 that a 20th level Wizard has a BAB 10/5. This means that without ever picking up a sword they clearly out class a 5th level fighter who has trained with their weapon extensively. If you have a problem with PF2 proficiencies why is the above example ok in PF1? Even with the -4 penalty for not being proficient the are still at 6/1. So picking up the very unwieldy great sword for the first time, they are still better than the 5th level fighter who has trained with the great sword their whole career. Seems like same issue to me.

Without seeing the guidelines for when something can be done untrained or not or what role class has thee proficiencies and the level of proficiencies, I will not make to many comments. I do like what I have seen from PF2.

Dave2


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Dave2 wrote:

No one has seemed to mention that in PF1 that a 20th level Wizard has a BAB 10/5. This means that without ever picking up a sword they clearly out class a 5th level fighter who has trained with their weapon extensively. If you have a problem with PF2 proficiencies why is the above example ok in PF1? Even with the -4 penalty for not being proficient the are still at 6/1. So picking up the very unwieldy great sword for the first time, they are still better than the 5th level fighter who has trained with the great sword their whole career. Seems like same issue to me.

Without seeing the guidelines for when something can be done untrained or not or what role class has thee proficiencies and the level of proficiencies, I will not make to many comments. I do like what I have seen from PF2.

Dave2

This is my opinion on the matter as well. That wizard may have a higher number on paper, but lacks the feats and class features that realistically makes the lower-level fighter better in practice.

We will REALLY have to see. I will miss assigning points into my skill list every level, but as long as "optional incompetence" can be accounted for with drawbacks, I'm not entirely against the idea now as I was when I first saw it.


Blackwaltzomega wrote:
You seem to be absolutely refusing to accept the idea that there could be a game where having a bigger number doesn't mean you're better at something than the person who has more capabilities than you at the task.

A terminological suggestion for the thread, for which I don't mean to single you out in particular: both proficiency and and net-bonus-to-roll (and their counterparts for any given action, minimum proficiency and DC) are numeric in nature. One is much more granular, but using "number" to refer to only one of them is liable to get confusing.

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Lady Funnyhat wrote:
We will REALLY have to see. I will miss assigning points into my skill list every level, but as long as "optional incompetence" can be accounted for with drawbacks, I'm not entirely against the idea now as I was when I first saw it.

It's a lot easier to just not roll or ignore the bonus on your sheet than it is to add a bonus that isn't there.


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Dave2 wrote:
No one has seemed to mention that in PF1 that a 20th level Wizard has a BAB 10/5. This means that without ever picking up a sword they clearly out class a 5th level fighter who has trained with their weapon extensively. If you have a problem with PF2 proficiencies why is the above example ok in PF1? Even with the -4 penalty for not being proficient the are still at 6/1. So picking up the very unwieldy great sword for the first time, they are still better than the 5th level fighter who has trained with the great sword their whole career. Seems like same issue to me.

I wouldn't presume that people who dislike automatic progression in skills do like automatic progression in BAB/hp/&c., necessarily.

(By way of analogy, someone concerned that the Resonance system would increase the need for dedicated healers certainly doesn't necessarily like that monsters start conferring certain kinds of permanent status effects roughly in line with when clerics get them, something that leans in the direction of necessary dedicated healers in PF1.)


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Dave2 wrote:
Seems like same issue to me.

It's not the same issue because the numbers are so different. But it is a bit odd that every PF1 wizard must become better at weapon fighting, even if at a much slower rate than a fighter. But as for why your example is different:

PF1: BAB = 1/2 * level
PF2: BAB = 1 * level

PF1: Untrained weapon penalty -4
PF2: Untrained weapon penalty -2 (presumably, as per unified proficiency)

PF1: AC = 10 + various
PF2: AC = 10 + level + various (presumably, given AC counts as proficiency)

So the PF1 wizard has +6 to attack untrained with a greatsword for pitiful damage, while having an unarmored AC of 10 (ignoring magic items), wheras the PF2 wizard would have +18 to attack (which means auto-hit against AC 19, with 50% chance for double damage) while sporting 30 AC unarmored (if AC falls under proficiency, which is a safe bet, seeing as saves and such do).

The PF1 level 20 wizard meleeing a regular ogre will get his head bashed in even despite his HP advantage, wheras the PF2 wizard would demolish the same ogre (or a 5th level fighter, for that matter) by critting him into oblivion without even taking damage. And by the way, he will also effortlessly succeed at each and every skill check a regular untrained person can even attempt (DC 19), with half his successes critical for clearing by 10.

The two are clearly not in the same ballpark, unless we're missing key parts of the picture.


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I'm into this, provided the rest of the system supports it. It's a nice middle ground between the relative simplicity of 5e's mechanics and the nigh-GURPSian crunch Pathfinder is famous (some might say infamous) for. It also does a better job of supporting the kind of fiction Pathfinder is designed to support, which is very good.

I'm still leery of the potential for modifier bloat which seemingly remains a feature of the system. Proficiency bonus + level + attribute mod is already a bit math-y for my tastes, and the idea of ladling a whole host of minor bonuses and penalties on top of that just as I would do in Pathfinder 1e is wildly unappealing. Modifier bloat is the biggest problem with Pathfinder 1e, and it's the one that needs to be addressed above all others in 2e. If it's not addressed, every single other great design decision in 2e will not matter to new players.

5e is hardly perfect or an ideal model for Pathfinder 2e, but I would argue that advantage/disadvantage (and, to a lesser extent, bounded accuracy) is what made that game the juggernaut it is. It's not a perfect mechanic, but the math was the biggest barrier to entry for new audiences, and creating a mechanic which replicated the effect of the math while cutting out all the dumb little +1s and -2s was a masterstroke.

Pathfinder 2e doesn't need to use the same mechanic - the core audience is obviously willing to tolerate a higher degree of crunch, and I realize Paizo can only do so much to the system before that audience revolts. That said, there has to be some limit to the amount of situational modifiers added to rolls if Paizo is to have any hope of attracting new players and/or bringing former players like myself back into the fold.

I'm crossing my fingers that you guys have something up your sleeve here. Maybe only the highest bonus and/or most severe situational penalty apply to a given roll? I don't know; you guys are the game designers, not me. But I'm begging you, do something to elminate the possibility of "1d20 + 1 + 2 + 3 - 1 + 2 + 4 - 3 + 6 - 2 + etc etc" being an actual roll.


Lady Funnyhat wrote:

I think there's a crucial point most people have been missing here.

Being trained, expert, master, legendary, etc, may not JUST give you minor bonuses and extra perks. What if it makes the DCs needed to accomplish a task lower, as well?

So while both MagicPants the level 20 wizard and Climbster the level 10 rogue has +17 to climbing, maybe the DC 15 check MagicPants has to make is a merely DC 5 check for Climbster. This is in line with what we've learned: that having certain levels of proficiency eliminates the need to roll for "basic" tasks at all.

We simply don't know enough to judge, at this point. If it turns out that what I mentioned above is the case (don't quote me on this -- but I do recall it mentioned that it's possible for a high proficiency character to need lower numbers to succeed, than a low proficiency character), then the numbers themselves are really not quite so relevant. They're very likely JUST there for parity with Saves, Attack Bonuses, and AC.

Sounds to me more like your skill has a DC for pthers trying to oppose something you did with your skill. Like your diguise skill has a DC that other people must meet with their Perception.

Adding both a bonus to the check and a penalty to the DC against which you are making it would just be unnecessary extra math that could be avoided by simply doubling the check bonus instead.


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BretI wrote:
Reading through the developer comments, it really sounds to me like the first question in PF2 for skills is "What level are you trained at" rather than "What is your modifier".

If they're locking so much behind the "what level are you trained at" gates, the modifier starts to become meaningless and raises the question of why bother having such a high modifier?

TiwazBlackhand wrote:
TLDR - Let's reserve judgement until we have the playtest document in hand so we HAVE SOME ACTUAL IDEA of how these things work.

Everyone, we have to close up shop. No point discussing what Paizo produce. Just lock down the whole subforum until August 2.

OR

We could discuss what we have information on. Use earlier editions of D&D (and even completely other games) to assess potential problems and discuss what impact the rules we seem to be getting had on those games. Naaah. That'd be silly. Better to just lock down the whole subforum.

Also it just occurred to me: If we're using skills for initiative we're going to get absurdly large bonuses. Ugh. That was one of the things I really disliked about 4th ed. It just really annoyed me.

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Turmoil wrote:
Dave2 wrote:
Seems like same issue to me.

It's not the same issue because the numbers are so different. But it is a bit odd that every PF1 wizard must become better at weapon fighting, even if at a much slower rate than a fighter. But as for why your example is different:

PF1: BAB = 1/2 * level
PF2: BAB = 1 * level

PF1: Untrained weapon penalty -4
PF2: Untrained weapon penalty -2 (presumably, as per unified proficiency)

PF1: AC = 10 + various
PF2: AC = 10 + level + various (presumably, given AC counts as proficiency)

So the PF1 wizard has +6 to attack untrained with a greatsword for pitiful damage, while having an unarmored AC of 10 (ignoring magic items), wheras the PF2 wizard would have +18 to attack (which means auto-hit against AC 19, with 50% chance for double damage) while sporting 30 AC unarmored (if AC falls under proficiency, which is a safe bet, seeing as saves and such do).

The PF1 level 20 wizard meleeing a regular ogre will get his head bashed in even despite his HP advantage, wheras the PF2 wizard would demolish the same ogre (or a 5th level fighter, for that matter) by critting him into oblivion without even taking damage. And by the way, he will also effortlessly succeed at each and every skill check a regular untrained person can even attempt (DC 19), with half his successes critical for clearing by 10.

The two are clearly not in the same ballpark,[u] unless we're missing key parts of the picture.[/u]

We clearly are. Probably 99% of the picture at this point.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
BretI wrote:
Reading through the developer comments, it really sounds to me like the first question in PF2 for skills is "What level are you trained at" rather than "What is your modifier".
If they're locking so much behind the "what level are you trained at" gates, the modifier starts to become meaningless and raises the question of why bother having such a high modifier?

This time we agree John. Bigger numbers isn't really necessary with proficiency grades.


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May I ask a question that may shed some light on the situation?

So, let's say we have two characters in P1e:

One, a 6th-level Fighter with 20 strength wielding a longsword, using power attack two-handed, and having weapon focus. His to-hit is +11 on his first attack and +6 on his second.

The second one is a 20th-level wizard with 14 strength (say he has a belt), using a dagger. His to-hit is +12 on the first attack and +7 on the second.

Now, tell me. Which is of them is a better melee attacker? The wizard? His numbers are higher. Well no, of course not. The fighter is hitting for 1d8+13 damage, whereas the wizard is hitting for 1d4+2.

Alternatively, compare the same 6th-level fighter to a 20th level wizard with 8 strength, with the same dagger.
Who's stronger here? The fighter has higher numbers. Both his to-hit and damage are way higher then the wizard's. But the wizard is still, undeniably, the more powerful threat. Why? Because the wizard isn't trying to melee with his dagger. He's summoning extraplanar creatures, throwing disintegrates around like a bloodthirsty Oprah, and fireballing everything that moves. The fighter may have a higher number next on his melee attack line, but the Wizard is doing stuff he could only imagine.

That, in a nutshell, is why your statline numbers really don't matter all that much when it comes to skill. They play a part, for sure, but they are far from the whole picture.


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For everyone saying that there is already automatic progression on PF1, you know that it's not your full level on any status, right? There s no problem in the number get better, but getting almost as better than a dedicated character is a problem.

A wizard will never be as proficient on attack as a fighter in PF1 (only half).

And all this "but there is another dimension", sorry, but it's already in PF1 with the unchained. And that doesn't make you better than having a big plain bonus on the skill.

On the end of the day, it's not how much cool things you cold do with your skills, it's how much you can succed that counts. And, if about every one has the same bonus to roll, the legendary guy will not feel that better that the untrained guy. He can hide in plain sight, yes, but the untrained guy will succed in a lot of situations he won't.

Unless, off-course, the "proficience-gate" is so right that a untrained person can't even try. Which is the worst game design decision ever. I can oversight it for some skills, but not all.

Or, off-course, higher proficience reduces the the DC (which is domb, just higher the bonuses), our you can buy diferent versions of skill focus for each proficience level (a feat that will become meta).


Dαedαlus wrote:

May I ask a question that may shed some light on the situation?

So, let's say we have two characters in P1e:

One, a 6th-level Fighter with 20 strength wielding a longsword, using power attack two-handed, and having weapon focus. His to-hit is +11 on his first attack and +6 on his second.

The second one is a 20th-level wizard with 14 strength (say he has a belt), using a dagger. His to-hit is +12 on the first attack and +7 on the second.

Now, tell me. Which is of them is a better melee attacker? The wizard? His numbers are higher. Well no, of course not. The fighter is hitting for 1d8+13 damage, whereas the wizard is hitting for 1d4+2.

Or 1d6+3 if he opts for the quarter staff over the dagger.

Or he's an elf with a longsword.

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Drawing from some of Pathfinder's adventure paths in the past, one of my favorite adventures is The Sixfold Trial, which involves the PCs starring in a play. Somebody with Perform (acting) can really shine in the adventure, but a low-Charisma, non-acting character can really feel like a drag on the group. Under a proficiency system, that unskilled actor can still contribute while allowing the master thespian to shine.

As another example, it's useful to have a PC with Profession (soldier) in Wrath of the Righteous. When I ran that adventure path, we had a fighter with maxed out ranks in that skill which allowed her to lead troops with ease. Had that fighter died in battle or been otherwise taken out of action, nobody else in the group had the skill which could have allowed them to pick up the slack.

My initial reaction to the proficiency system was dislike, but it's looking better as I consider it more. It's also a system that seems like it could actually fix some problem spots in existing adventure paths.


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Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
Unless, off-course, the "proficience-gate" is so right that a untrained person can't even try. Which is the worst game design decision ever. I can oversight it for some skills, but not all.

I fail to understand how "you can't sneak untrained without cover or concealment" or "you can't practice law untrained" or "you can maintain your gear untrained in craft, but you can't make anything" is really different from "you can't attempt knowledge checks untrained if the DC is more than 10" or "you can't attempt UMD untrained at all"?

Nor do I really understand how "the wizard can climb a rope real well" makes the ranger who has a climb speed feel less awesome, to be honest.


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Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:


Unless, off-course, the "proficience-gate" is so right that a untrained person can't even try. Which is the worst game design decision ever. I can oversight it for some skills, but not all.

This has already been confirmed in certain cases.

A character untrained in Thievery can't even try to pick locks, though they can attempt to steal something.

The trained thief CAN pick locks ON TOP OF being able to steal stuff.

Assuming the dividing line between proficiency levels makes intuitive sense, I see no problem with this system.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
Unless, off-course, the "proficience-gate" is so right that a untrained person can't even try. Which is the worst game design decision ever. I can oversight it for some skills, but not all.

I fail to understand how "you can't sneak untrained without cover or concealment" or "you can't practice law untrained" or "you can maintain your gear untrained in craft, but you can't make anything" is really different from "you can't attempt knowledge checks untrained if the DC is more than 10" or "you can't attempt UMD untrained at all"?

Nor do I really understand how "the wizard can climb a rope real well" makes the ranger who has a climb speed feel less awesome, to be honest.

Basic put both trying to climb and see the wizard succeed where the ranger fail just due to dice randomess.

Succed often ir better than do cool stunts.


PossibleCabbage wrote:


Presumably in PF2 all skills are going to be in that 3rd category, which opens up the question of "what are the untrained uses of Use Magic Device"? Is it just going to be "checks up to a certain DC" like knowledge skills were? So a high level fighter can automatically trigger, say, first level wands?

It's probably wands. Theyr'e always DC 20 in PF1, if this doesn't change it is an option basic enough to allow with UMD.

Another option would be something that has to do with resonance we don't know about yet, like pretending you're still allowed to make a check after you spent all your resonance points, but with a magical mishap if the check fails.


Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
Unless, off-course, the "proficience-gate" is so right that a untrained person can't even try. Which is the worst game design decision ever. I can oversight it for some skills, but not all.

I fail to understand how "you can't sneak untrained without cover or concealment" or "you can't practice law untrained" or "you can maintain your gear untrained in craft, but you can't make anything" is really different from "you can't attempt knowledge checks untrained if the DC is more than 10" or "you can't attempt UMD untrained at all"?

Nor do I really understand how "the wizard can climb a rope real well" makes the ranger who has a climb speed feel less awesome, to be honest.

Basic put both trying to climb and see the wizard succeed where the ranger fail just due to dice randomess.

Succed often ir better than do cool stunts.

One, succeed often isn't better than doing cool stunts if what you're succeeding at isn't particularly impressive in the first place.

Two, this system means the character who can do cool stunts ALSO succeeds more often. As I pointed out before, a trained climber will be able to make climb attempts an untrained climber cannot, but on equal ground the trained climber will ascend at least twice as fast and with an investment automatically succeeds at any task below his level of competence. As a result, not only can he do cool stunts the wizard can't in this scenario, he can't fail and the wizard can when they're on "equal" footing.

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gustavo iglesias wrote:
Harveyopolis wrote:
I'm not a huge fan of the +level to your modifier, but I think an easy fix could be had. Just make the amount your level contributes to your modifier based on your proficiency rank? For examples Trained would grant 1/4 of your level, Expert 1/3, Master 1/2 and then Legendary for the full level which at that point would be a reasonable thing. It makes the proficiency ranks matter a whole lot more, while still keeping more or less the same balance.

Let's say a character is lvl 12.

By your option, trained would grant you +3, expert +4, master +6, and legendary can't be an option at that level.

What did you achieve?

The spread between characters at the same level is roughly the same (only master gets an extra +1), but now a lvl 12 expert and a lvl 2 expert are almost the same.

Well I meant that it'd change your character's level portion of your proficiency bonus. So in the lvl 12 character example a lvl 12 character has a total of +12 to a skill that is trained. In my system that lvl 12 would have +3 to a skill that they are trained (1/4 of their level). That seems to be a far more reasonable bonus to a character that is only 'pretty familiar' with a skill (and then add their ability modifier on top of that). However if that lvl 12 character was an expert they would have +5 (+1 for being expert, +4 because of level). Master would be +8 (+2 for being master, +6 because of level). It just makes the proficiency rank matter the most, which makes sense.

With the current system: a trained lvl 12 character gets +12, an expert +13, a master +14. So there's only a +2 difference between a master and a trainee (which makes no sense). Now there's a +5 difference between that master and trainee. It may be a small difference but it makes investing in a skill matter just that much more. Also, depending how the DCs are designed, having general overall skill bonuses might be helpful because we might just run into the "it's impossible to fail" problem with 1e when everyone's getting a +12 to pretty much every skill.


Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
Unless, off-course, the "proficience-gate" is so right that a untrained person can't even try. Which is the worst game design decision ever. I can oversight it for some skills, but not all.

I fail to understand how "you can't sneak untrained without cover or concealment" or "you can't practice law untrained" or "you can maintain your gear untrained in craft, but you can't make anything" is really different from "you can't attempt knowledge checks untrained if the DC is more than 10" or "you can't attempt UMD untrained at all"?

Nor do I really understand how "the wizard can climb a rope real well" makes the ranger who has a climb speed feel less awesome, to be honest.

Basic put both trying to climb and see the wizard succeed where the ranger fail just due to dice randomess.

Succed often ir better than do cool stunts.

One, succeed often isn't better than doing cool stunts if what you're succeeding at isn't particularly impressive in the first place.

Two, this system means the character who can do cool stunts ALSO succeeds more often. As I pointed out before, a trained climber will be able to make climb attempts an untrained climber cannot, but on equal ground the trained climber will ascend at least twice as fast and with an investment automatically succeeds at any task below his level of competence. As a result, not only can he do cool stunts the wizard can't in this scenario, he can't fail and the wizard can when they're on "equal" footing.

Not as often as PF1, an legendary is +5 better than a untrained.

Say, your legendary rougue is trying to sneak past a same-level untrained guard. Doesn't matter if you can hide in plain sight if you just don't pass the roll since you roll poor and the guard roll avarege.


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Only partially what I expected. Since weapons are involved I thought it would go by BAB paradig. Untrained is 1/2 level, trained is 3/4 level, expert is full level and so on. The numbers here are way flatter but it's hard to evaluate if functionality is locked behind proficiency levels. That may make things fine or make it unreasonably difficult to ad hoc DCs for functions not specified in the book.

On the other hand after spending ten or twenty levels trekking the wilderness and fighting monster I somewhat expect the stupid Wizard to be able to climb a fticking rope. Likewise after twenty levels of adventuring and the Barbarian still doesn't know what an owlbear is unrealistic. I really need to see this in action because as I'm imagining it, this solves issues and also causes new wierdness.

Everyone is comparing a lvl 1's bonus to lvl 20 characters, but that's not very fair. How much does a trained first level character really know? Sure a wizard can study how demons work and is this trained but a 20th level untrained figher has surely heard legends of, met and punched demons in the face. He must know something, probably more than the wizard but not specifics. Like the wizard knows what kind of demon it is and what it does because he's trained but the fighter knows that flaming swords definitely do not work.

If a legendary in survival let's you live without air what does legendary with martial weapons do, cut into the future.

What city are skill ranks? Mark mentioned it and got all silent about it. How many factors are going into permanent bonuses for skills? Something is not being told that makes everything better or worse.


Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
Unless, off-course, the "proficience-gate" is so right that a untrained person can't even try. Which is the worst game design decision ever. I can oversight it for some skills, but not all.

I fail to understand how "you can't sneak untrained without cover or concealment" or "you can't practice law untrained" or "you can maintain your gear untrained in craft, but you can't make anything" is really different from "you can't attempt knowledge checks untrained if the DC is more than 10" or "you can't attempt UMD untrained at all"?

Nor do I really understand how "the wizard can climb a rope real well" makes the ranger who has a climb speed feel less awesome, to be honest.

Basic put both trying to climb and see the wizard succeed where the ranger fail just due to dice randomess.

Succed often ir better than do cool stunts.

One, succeed often isn't better than doing cool stunts if what you're succeeding at isn't particularly impressive in the first place.

Two, this system means the character who can do cool stunts ALSO succeeds more often. As I pointed out before, a trained climber will be able to make climb attempts an untrained climber cannot, but on equal ground the trained climber will ascend at least twice as fast and with an investment automatically succeeds at any task below his level of competence. As a result, not only can he do cool stunts the wizard can't in this scenario, he can't fail and the wizard can when they're on "equal" footing.

Not as often as PF1, an legendary is +5 better than a untrained.

Say, your legendary rougue is trying to sneak past a same-level untrained guard. Doesn't matter if you can hide in plain sight if you just don't pass the roll since you roll poor and the guard roll avarege.

Actually it does matter, because again, sneaking past an untrained guard is below Legendary competence.

I don't roll, I just succeed. Automatically.


Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
Unless, off-course, the "proficience-gate" is so right that a untrained person can't even try. Which is the worst game design decision ever. I can oversight it for some skills, but not all.

I fail to understand how "you can't sneak untrained without cover or concealment" or "you can't practice law untrained" or "you can maintain your gear untrained in craft, but you can't make anything" is really different from "you can't attempt knowledge checks untrained if the DC is more than 10" or "you can't attempt UMD untrained at all"?

Nor do I really understand how "the wizard can climb a rope real well" makes the ranger who has a climb speed feel less awesome, to be honest.

Basic put both trying to climb and see the wizard succeed where the ranger fail just due to dice randomess.

Succed often ir better than do cool stunts.

If the Ranger has a climb speed, they don't need to roll and may indeed move faster up the cliff face than the wizard can on a rope even with a critical success.

So with a climb speed you succeed on ordinary climb checks 100% of the time (by virtue of not having to make them). Which is nice if you want to be good at climbing.


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Strachan Fireblade wrote:

My next prediction is likely to be heretical. I suspect ability caps to be 20. It sounds like all stats for a character start at 10 (barring a player willingly lowering a stat). We know that there are now 4 degrees of success. Critical success, success, failure, critical failure with the critical portions coming at + or - 10. This means the math needs to be pretty tight. Allowing abilities to greatly vary I think greatly breaks this system. So now the variance of an ability mod will be between 0 and 5.

So now ability mod (or natural ability) and training (proficiency) play equal part in your success. If you are good at both, you are clearly superior.

I quite like this.

I hope they can manage this without capping abilities. I rather like that they have an open-ended scale and one of the things I'm finding I don't much like in 5E is that you have a cap that's particularly easy to hit on abilities. And the cap doesn't allow for truly mythic stuff like I want out of the game, and that PF2 seems to be wholeheartedly embracing.

kyrt-ryder wrote:

Not for me at least.

To me a level is a personal evolution, transcending the state of being you were before and becoming something greater.

But level as a mechanic, as a trait, is just by itself a number. What it represents is an overall summary of your character's ability and progress, yes. This includes stuff like luck, and skill, and in-world experiences, and so on. It's not any one thing, and you have lots of other traits to help define your ability in a particular area (such as combat or magic), but the overall character level is sort of a zoomed-out overview of the character's career.

BryonD wrote:

We know that PF1 was consistently higher ranked than 4E.

So I guess if being lower ranked than a game that was lower ranked then their prior edition is ok, then go for it.

It wasn't, though. There was like one month where its reported sales surpassed 4E's, and it was where everything sort of lined up that way. Otherwise, no, 4E made far more money than any other RPG out there, and honestly an insane amount of money for any RPG, but for whatever reason Hasbro had absurd expectations for it.

Arssanguinus wrote:
Enough to have a better bonus than the guy whose career it is?

My friend, I fear you are putting too much emphasis on the modifier. The level 10 Fighter untrained in Stealth (so -2) with, say, Dex 12 (+1) and let's call it a -2 penalty for armor is still rolling +7 only for Stealth. She also has none of the cool skill tricks that might make this easier. Meanwhile, the NPC guard may be lower level, but also has, say, Expert-level ability in perception (which I believe they'd said isn't a skill, but has feats and abilities associated with it) or the relevant skill. So he might have advantages here despite the Fighter being higher level; it's not impossible for either to succeed, and the Rogue can still sneak or charm her way right past the guard.

Conversely, if the Fighter is traveling with a level 4 Rogue who has Dex 18 (+4) and is an Expert (+1), and has no armor penalty is rolling +9 (so still better than the Fighter), and has access to feats that, say, lets her move at full speed while sneaking, or effectively distract the guard with thrown pebbles or throwing her voice or mimicking creatures that live in the tunnel hall, making it easier for herself or her companions to sneak past.

The Untrained Fighter may have a total modifier that is close to her much lower-level companion, yes. She still can't do nearly as well, and can only attempt to perform the most basic Stealth tasks (poorly). Does that help allay your fears at all?


Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
Unless, off-course, the "proficience-gate" is so right that a untrained person can't even try. Which is the worst game design decision ever. I can oversight it for some skills, but not all.

I fail to understand how "you can't sneak untrained without cover or concealment" or "you can't practice law untrained" or "you can maintain your gear untrained in craft, but you can't make anything" is really different from "you can't attempt knowledge checks untrained if the DC is more than 10" or "you can't attempt UMD untrained at all"?

Nor do I really understand how "the wizard can climb a rope real well" makes the ranger who has a climb speed feel less awesome, to be honest.

Basic put both trying to climb and see the wizard succeed where the ranger fail just due to dice randomess.

Succed often ir better than do cool stunts.

One of the things mentioned at Expert level was the ability to take 10 on checks. This means that the Level 1 Expert Ranger automatically succeeds on a DC(12+STR) climb without having to roll. The wizard HAS to roll and if he gets a 1, he takes double fall damage.

Also, keep in mind that your theoretical situation involves the Ranger not being able to utilize any of his bonuses from expertise vs the Wizard who has been adventuring much longer.

Think of the Level portion of your Proficiency bonus as raw experience, and the actual proficiency level as just your generic training, minus any special tricks you have picked up along the way.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
Unless, off-course, the "proficience-gate" is so right that a untrained person can't even try. Which is the worst game design decision ever. I can oversight it for some skills, but not all.

I fail to understand how "you can't sneak untrained without cover or concealment" or "you can't practice law untrained" or "you can maintain your gear untrained in craft, but you can't make anything" is really different from "you can't attempt knowledge checks untrained if the DC is more than 10" or "you can't attempt UMD untrained at all"?

Nor do I really understand how "the wizard can climb a rope real well" makes the ranger who has a climb speed feel less awesome, to be honest.

Basic put both trying to climb and see the wizard succeed where the ranger fail just due to dice randomess.

Succed often ir better than do cool stunts.

One, succeed often isn't better than doing cool stunts if what you're succeeding at isn't particularly impressive in the first place.

Two, this system means the character who can do cool stunts ALSO succeeds more often. As I pointed out before, a trained climber will be able to make climb attempts an untrained climber cannot, but on equal ground the trained climber will ascend at least twice as fast and with an investment automatically succeeds at any task below his level of competence. As a result, not only can he do cool stunts the wizard can't in this scenario, he can't fail and the wizard can when they're on "equal" footing.

Not as often as PF1, an legendary is +5 better than a untrained.

Say, your legendary rougue is trying to sneak past a same-level untrained guard. Doesn't matter if you can hide in plain sight if you just don't pass the roll since you roll poor and the guard roll avarege.

So a legendary rogue, maybe level 15? Pretty high level. I'm going to actually spot this random guard at least trained proficiency in Perception because a level 15 guard is an incredibly powerful figure on the worlds stage and is weirdly terrible at being a guard if he hasn't trained in Perception. We'll also assume that we've decided to build this guard out full PC style, since the numbers work out similarly anyway. The guard's Wisdom is not his primary attribute, but the rogue's Dexterity is. We'll say the guard has 16 Wisdom? It could be maybe 18 at the most or potentially much lower. If I recall correctly, this guard is going to be under the DC a legendary rogue can just not roll and auto-succeed with the right skill feat. Supposing the rogue didn't bother with that skill feat but does have some kind of magic cloak , we're looking at a situation where the rogue's bonus of ~+28 is going to roughly equal or surpass the guard's DC of 28 (we don't have opposed rolls) leading to near certitude of success. Even if the level 15 trained guard somehow had 18 Wisdom and some kind of magic goggles boosting him to a DC of 31, the equal level legendary rogue is still looking at a 90% chance of success. If the guard was actually untrained? It's even easier, though that just doesn't seem plausible for a level 15 guard.

Paizo Employee Designer

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thflame wrote:
Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
Unless, off-course, the "proficience-gate" is so right that a untrained person can't even try. Which is the worst game design decision ever. I can oversight it for some skills, but not all.

I fail to understand how "you can't sneak untrained without cover or concealment" or "you can't practice law untrained" or "you can maintain your gear untrained in craft, but you can't make anything" is really different from "you can't attempt knowledge checks untrained if the DC is more than 10" or "you can't attempt UMD untrained at all"?

Nor do I really understand how "the wizard can climb a rope real well" makes the ranger who has a climb speed feel less awesome, to be honest.

Basic put both trying to climb and see the wizard succeed where the ranger fail just due to dice randomess.

Succed often ir better than do cool stunts.

One of the things mentioned at Expert level was the ability to take 10 on checks. This means that the Level 1 Expert Ranger automatically succeeds on a DC(12+STR) climb without having to roll. The wizard HAS to roll and if he gets a 1, he takes double fall damage.

I'm going to make a minor correction to this because I've been seeing it spread, so I'll repeat what I said about it before with a small clarification as to how this differs: There is an option you can choose (actually before Expert) that gives you the ability to auto-succeed at some checks depending on what your rank is. It is not Taking 10; it scales with proficiency rank and not with your bonus (so the level 7 Master is much better at using it than the level 20 Trained character, even though the level 20 Trained character would potentially have a higher result with 10+modifier).


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The lack of opposed rolls makes things very different. To the point where I understand less about what's going on. It's really hard to determine if this is good or bad.


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Malwing wrote:
The lack of opposed rolls makes things very different. To the point where I understand less about what's going on. It's really hard to determine if this is good or bad.

I think I gave up on understanding any of this days ago. For something more streamiled I'm actually surprised how that makes head spin. I guess I'll just wait for the playtest pdf and give that section a couple of reads then


Dave2 wrote:

No one has seemed to mention that in PF1 that a 20th level Wizard has a BAB 10/5. This means that without ever picking up a sword they clearly out class a 5th level fighter who has trained with their weapon extensively. If you have a problem with PF2 proficiencies why is the above example ok in PF1? Even with the -4 penalty for not being proficient the are still at 6/1. So picking up the very unwieldy great sword for the first time, they are still better than the 5th level fighter who has trained with the great sword their whole career. Seems like same issue to me.

Without seeing the guidelines for when something can be done untrained or not or what role class has thee proficiencies and the level of proficiencies, I will not make to many comments. I do like what I have seen from PF2.

Dave2

FWIW, I've had this long time wish for a 0 BAB wizard progression. Just tie all the attack bonuses into the mechanics of a spell if the spell requires an attack roll.

But, it really never comes up in play, so it doesn't make any difference.
I've never seen a 20th level wizard going melee beat down. If they were attacking a level appropriate monster, then they would still miss. If they are fighting a monster fitting for a 5th level fighter, then meh, who cares?

This is unlike the issues with things like needing to climb or sneak. (Or diplomacy for a non focused fighter, knowledge checks, etc etc varying for class).

That said, you are right about the "what can be done untrained". That could save the whole thing right there.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
Unless, off-course, the "proficience-gate" is so right that a untrained person can't even try. Which is the worst game design decision ever. I can oversight it for some skills, but not all.

I fail to understand how "you can't sneak untrained without cover or concealment" or "you can't practice law untrained" or "you can maintain your gear untrained in craft, but you can't make anything" is really different from "you can't attempt knowledge checks untrained if the DC is more than 10" or "you can't attempt UMD untrained at all"?

Nor do I really understand how "the wizard can climb a rope real well" makes the ranger who has a climb speed feel less awesome, to be honest.

Basic put both trying to climb and see the wizard succeed where the ranger fail just due to dice randomess.

Succed often ir better than do cool stunts.

One, succeed often isn't better than doing cool stunts if what you're succeeding at isn't particularly impressive in the first place.

Two, this system means the character who can do cool stunts ALSO succeeds more often. As I pointed out before, a trained climber will be able to make climb attempts an untrained climber cannot, but on equal ground the trained climber will ascend at least twice as fast and with an investment automatically succeeds at any task below his level of competence. As a result, not only can he do cool stunts the wizard can't in this scenario, he can't fail and the wizard can when they're on "equal" footing.

Not as often as PF1, an legendary is +5 better than a untrained.

Say, your legendary rougue is trying to sneak past a same-level untrained guard. Doesn't matter if you can hide in plain sight if you just don't pass the roll since you roll poor and the guard roll avarege.

So a legendary rogue, maybe level 15? Pretty high level. I'm going to actually spot...

Interesting...


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Lady Firebird wrote:


It wasn't, though. There was like one month where its reported sales surpassed 4E's

not true, but whatever. This isn't the thread for it.


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BryonD wrote:
Dave2 wrote:

No one has seemed to mention that in PF1 that a 20th level Wizard has a BAB 10/5. This means that without ever picking up a sword they clearly out class a 5th level fighter who has trained with their weapon extensively. If you have a problem with PF2 proficiencies why is the above example ok in PF1? Even with the -4 penalty for not being proficient the are still at 6/1. So picking up the very unwieldy great sword for the first time, they are still better than the 5th level fighter who has trained with the great sword their whole career. Seems like same issue to me.

Without seeing the guidelines for when something can be done untrained or not or what role class has thee proficiencies and the level of proficiencies, I will not make to many comments. I do like what I have seen from PF2.

Dave2

FWIW, I've had this long time wish for a 0 BAB wizard progression. Just tie all the attack bonuses into the mechanics of a spell if the spell requires an attack roll.

But, it really never comes up in play, so it doesn't make any difference.
I've never seen a 20th level wizard going melee beat down. If they were attacking a level appropriate monster, then they would still miss. If they are fighting a monster fitting for a 5th level fighter, then meh, who cares?

This is unlike the issues with things like needing to climb or sneak. (Or diplomacy for a non focused fighter, knowledge checks, etc etc varying for class).

That said, you are right about the "what can be done untrained". That could save the whole thing right there.

If the 20th level wizard is trying to climb something that's a challenge to a 20th level character then he's going to fail miserably at it.

A regular rope is a 1st level challenge. If you don't care about the wizard being able to beat a 1st level fighter with a stick then why should you care about him being able to climb a 1st level rope?


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Arachnofiend wrote:
A regular rope is a 1st level challenge. If you don't care about the wizard being able to beat a 1st level fighter with a stick then why should you care about him being able to climb a 1st level rope?

How did we get from a +18 (assuming an 8 STR and untrained) to only caring about a "1st level rope"? (What is a 1st level rope?)

Seriously, how many people in this thread can climb a rope up a wall?

If untrained athletics just allows ladders and steepish hills, then cool.

But if we are talking about appropriate challenges for 1 1st level character then we don't come close to needing +level bonuses.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
So a legendary rogue, maybe level 15? Pretty high level. I'm going to actually spot this random guard at least trained proficiency in Perception because a level 15 guard is an incredibly powerful figure on the worlds stage and is weirdly terrible at being a guard if he hasn't trained in Perception. We'll also assume that we've decided to build this guard out full PC style, since the numbers work out similarly anyway. The guard's Wisdom is not his primary attribute, but the rogue's Dexterity is. We'll say the guard has 16 Wisdom? It could be maybe 18 at the most or potentially much lower. If I recall correctly, this guard is going to be under the DC a legendary rogue can just not roll and auto-succeed with the right skill feat. Supposing the rogue didn't bother with that skill feat but does have some kind of magic cloak , we're looking at a situation where the rogue's bonus of ~+28 is going to roughly equal or surpass the guard's DC of 28 (we don't have opposed rolls) leading to near certitude of success. Even if the level 15 trained guard somehow had 18 Wisdom and some kind of magic goggles boosting him to a DC of 31, the equal level legendary rogue is still looking at a 90% chance of success. If the guard was actually untrained? It's even easier, though that just doesn't seem plausible for a level 15 guard.

My question is why have level 15 guards at all? Why is this 'incredibly powerful figure on the world's stage' standing around in the rain looking for stray rogues?

Especially if a level 15 PC is just going to blow past his [perception based DC for stealth checks?] anyway, regardless if the PC takes the auto-succeed ability or not [but requires the magical junk that isn't required to get the high enough bonus? The cloak comment threw me off].

So I guess the level 15 guard is making me wonder if always level appropriate opposition is simply baked into the system as an assumption, because it seems very strange for such people to even exist, same with level 15 blacksmiths and sages so they can do legendary tasks in the background so the world can function the way it is supposed to. Someone to make super powerful weapons, someone to know the answers to questions usually beyond what humans were not meant to know of.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Voss wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
So a legendary rogue, maybe level 15? Pretty high level. I'm going to actually spot this random guard at least trained proficiency in Perception because a level 15 guard is an incredibly powerful figure on the worlds stage and is weirdly terrible at being a guard if he hasn't trained in Perception. We'll also assume that we've decided to build this guard out full PC style, since the numbers work out similarly anyway. The guard's Wisdom is not his primary attribute, but the rogue's Dexterity is. We'll say the guard has 16 Wisdom? It could be maybe 18 at the most or potentially much lower. If I recall correctly, this guard is going to be under the DC a legendary rogue can just not roll and auto-succeed with the right skill feat. Supposing the rogue didn't bother with that skill feat but does have some kind of magic cloak , we're looking at a situation where the rogue's bonus of ~+28 is going to roughly equal or surpass the guard's DC of 28 (we don't have opposed rolls) leading to near certitude of success. Even if the level 15 trained guard somehow had 18 Wisdom and some kind of magic goggles boosting him to a DC of 31, the equal level legendary rogue is still looking at a 90% chance of success. If the guard was actually untrained? It's even easier, though that just doesn't seem plausible for a level 15 guard.

My question is why have level 15 guards at all? Why is this 'incredibly powerful figure on the world's stage' standing around in the rain looking for stray rogues?

Especially if a level 15 PC is just going to blow past his [perception based DC for stealth checks?] anyway, regardless if the PC takes the auto-succeed ability or not [but requires the magical junk that isn't required to get the high enough bonus? The cloak comment threw me off].

So I guess the level 15 guard is making me wonder if always level appropriate opposition is simply baked into the system as an assumption, because it seems very strange for such people to even exist, same with level 15...

It was an example to illustrate how the rules work. Do not extrapolate further than that.

You might for instance replace the word guard with, dragon of similar CR.


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Voss wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
So a legendary rogue, maybe level 15? Pretty high level. I'm going to actually spot this random guard at least trained proficiency in Perception because a level 15 guard is an incredibly powerful figure on the worlds stage and is weirdly terrible at being a guard if he hasn't trained in Perception. We'll also assume that we've decided to build this guard out full PC style, since the numbers work out similarly anyway. The guard's Wisdom is not his primary attribute, but the rogue's Dexterity is. We'll say the guard has 16 Wisdom? It could be maybe 18 at the most or potentially much lower. If I recall correctly, this guard is going to be under the DC a legendary rogue can just not roll and auto-succeed with the right skill feat. Supposing the rogue didn't bother with that skill feat but does have some kind of magic cloak , we're looking at a situation where the rogue's bonus of ~+28 is going to roughly equal or surpass the guard's DC of 28 (we don't have opposed rolls) leading to near certitude of success. Even if the level 15 trained guard somehow had 18 Wisdom and some kind of magic goggles boosting him to a DC of 31, the equal level legendary rogue is still looking at a 90% chance of success. If the guard was actually untrained? It's even easier, though that just doesn't seem plausible for a level 15 guard.

My question is why have level 15 guards at all? Why is this 'incredibly powerful figure on the world's stage' standing around in the rain looking for stray rogues?

Especially if a level 15 PC is just going to blow past his [perception based DC for stealth checks?] anyway, regardless if the PC takes the auto-succeed ability or not [but requires the magical junk that isn't required to get the high enough bonus? The cloak comment threw me off].

So I guess the level 15 guard is making me wonder if always level appropriate opposition is simply baked into the system as an assumption, because it seems very strange for such people to even exist, same with level 15...

I'd imagine there's a L15 guard because this is more a demonstration of the mechanics at play rather than any significant extrapolation of the world or challenge scale in general.

That said, it's not impossible to conjure up a situation that features L15 guards. Maybe the evil L20 has his blood-sworn bodyguard that never strays more than 30 paces from his master and is always on the look out for those that would try to kill him. Or maybe the evil warlord has a hand picked formation of the best of the best of the best in his evil army (probably with a spiffy name too) that protect him and macguffin locations. I doubt the intent is to presume that Watchman Joe spontaneously becomes L15 to match the rogue running through town.


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I mean, there are probably level 15 folks who hang around places that the rogue will be sneaking around, so the example isn't that out of bounds. I assume a premise of the game is not "we're gonna get awesome so we can rob people who have no chance at preventing us from doing so." Adventure Paths and similar always assume that players will be facing level appropriate challenges, but that does not mean level inappropriate challenges cannot exist somewhere in the world.

So if you're a level 15 rogue trying to rob "Frugal Angus's 'Fresh' Fish Warehouse" you're just going to succeed.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Voss wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
So a legendary rogue, maybe level 15? Pretty high level. I'm going to actually spot this random guard at least trained proficiency in Perception because a level 15 guard is an incredibly powerful figure on the worlds stage and is weirdly terrible at being a guard if he hasn't trained in Perception. We'll also assume that we've decided to build this guard out full PC style, since the numbers work out similarly anyway. The guard's Wisdom is not his primary attribute, but the rogue's Dexterity is. We'll say the guard has 16 Wisdom? It could be maybe 18 at the most or potentially much lower. If I recall correctly, this guard is going to be under the DC a legendary rogue can just not roll and auto-succeed with the right skill feat. Supposing the rogue didn't bother with that skill feat but does have some kind of magic cloak , we're looking at a situation where the rogue's bonus of ~+28 is going to roughly equal or surpass the guard's DC of 28 (we don't have opposed rolls) leading to near certitude of success. Even if the level 15 trained guard somehow had 18 Wisdom and some kind of magic goggles boosting him to a DC of 31, the equal level legendary rogue is still looking at a 90% chance of success. If the guard was actually untrained? It's even easier, though that just doesn't seem plausible for a level 15 guard.

My question is why have level 15 guards at all? Why is this 'incredibly powerful figure on the world's stage' standing around in the rain looking for stray rogues?

Especially if a level 15 PC is just going to blow past his [perception based DC for stealth checks?] anyway, regardless if the PC takes the auto-succeed ability or not [but requires the magical junk that isn't required to get the high enough bonus? The cloak comment threw me off].

So I guess the level 15 guard is making me wonder if always level appropriate opposition is simply baked into the system as an assumption, because it seems very strange for such people to even exist, same with level 15...

You'll have to ask Fallyrion Dunegrién. I didn't come up with the example; I filled in the picture with some math.


Lady Funnyhat wrote:
Being trained, expert, master, legendary, etc, may not JUST give you minor bonuses and extra perks. What if it makes the DCs needed to accomplish a task lower, as well?

It seems both unwise and unlikely for the basic DCs for tasks to very down at the same time as bonuses are going up (both because it defeats the object of keeping the bonuses relatively close together, and because it does not do anything that increasing the bonuses would not do while being considerably more fiddly in practice).

What I think is considerably more like is that penalties will be reduced. For example, in PF1 you climb at quarter speed by default, but can increase that by taking a penalty (or an increase to the DC). One things that I would expect to see (either as a rank benefit or skill feat is a reduction or elimination of that kind of penalty.

There is lots of scope for that kind of thing without breaking the mathematics of the system with unsustainable bonus ranges.

_
glass.


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BryonD wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
A regular rope is a 1st level challenge. If you don't care about the wizard being able to beat a 1st level fighter with a stick then why should you care about him being able to climb a 1st level rope?

How did we get from a +18 (assuming an 8 STR and untrained) to only caring about a "1st level rope"? (What is a 1st level rope?)

Seriously, how many people in this thread can climb a rope up a wall?

If untrained athletics just allows ladders and steepish hills, then cool.

But if we are talking about appropriate challenges for 1 1st level character then we don't come close to needing +level bonuses.

How many people in this thread are a level 20 wizard? The design paradigm of PF2 is that a level 6 character is a world record holder in their field. Past that you're beyond the bounds of realism.


Malwing wrote:
The lack of opposed rolls makes things very different. To the point where I understand less about what's going on. It's really hard to determine if this is good or bad.

It's basically the transition from opposed rolls in Combat Maneuvers to CMB vs CMD


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BryonD wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
A regular rope is a 1st level challenge. If you don't care about the wizard being able to beat a 1st level fighter with a stick then why should you care about him being able to climb a 1st level rope?

How did we get from a +18 (assuming an 8 STR and untrained) to only caring about a "1st level rope"? (What is a 1st level rope?)

Seriously, how many people in this thread can climb a rope up a wall?

There was a time rope climbing was part of standard physical education in some countries.

AKA totally doable for ordinary people with ordinary [or sub-ordinary considering this wasn't even exclusive to High School] abilities scores and with so little training I would be more prone to consider them Untrained than Trained.


If anything "reducing the number of rolls needed to figure out if a thing happens" is good for keeping the pace of play brisk. Opposed rolls give you dramatic tension for free, but if they are common they just become a perfunctory chore.

Like I remember in old WoD games when "I attack to do damage" required four separate rolls to figure out (hit, dodge, damage, soak)- which made combat take at least twice as long as it should have.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Malwing wrote:
The lack of opposed rolls makes things very different. To the point where I understand less about what's going on. It's really hard to determine if this is good or bad.
It's basically the transition from opposed rolls in Combat Maneuvers to CMB vs CMD

Which would honestly be more convenient for some things. When I GM, for example, it's with an online group; our dicebot rolls in the open so I don't ever fudge rolls and the players are at least aware something is going on, which I assume is also the case for face-to-face games just with the dice behind a screen.

Having enemy skills set a DC to overcome rather than two rolls opposing each other seems handy to me; it reduces the amount of rolling, flattens the variation in the skill challenge an NPC presents (my skilled liar trying to mislead the party into doing his dirty work is less effected by fluctuations in luck, so what we have to concern ourselves with is how well the players do trying to sense if his intentions are legit), and generally helps speed things along. Opposed rolls can get real swingy at times and are harder to plan around than the enemy presenting a DC to overcome in skill challenges.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

The more I've thought about it, I like the proficiency system as shown, EXCEPT for how untrained works. I'm even okay with many skills having an increase without being trained, as long as many skills (I'm looking at Int based and profession/craft type skills) having pretty severe restrictions on what you can accomplish untrained.

I'd be more okay with the system if untrained had either more than a -2 penalty, or was based on half level instead of full level, and to compensate having even more opportunities as you level to become trained in a skills, so your 8 Str wizard can at level 4 or 8 choose to finally train in athletics after having trouble climbing a rope or swimming often enough, and not have that significantly reduce the Knowledge type skills he's likely starting to master already.

As for some of the near superhuman abilities a Legendary training non-magical character can do, I saw someone mention upstream stage magicians. After seeing the Illusionists show last night, that was top of mind for me as well. The guy who did the Houdini upside down straight jacket escape in 60 seconds clearly was legendary in escape artist, and the guy who seemed to create cards for about 5 minutes straight was legendary at slight of hand (or thievery now - I'd think he'd be pretty good with locks if he's that much a master of fine tuned manipulations.)


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Voss wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
So a legendary rogue, maybe level 15? Pretty high level. I'm going to actually spot this random guard at least trained proficiency in Perception because a level 15 guard is an incredibly powerful figure on the worlds stage and is weirdly terrible at being a guard if he hasn't trained in Perception. We'll also assume that we've decided to build this guard out full PC style, since the numbers work out similarly anyway. The guard's Wisdom is not his primary attribute, but the rogue's Dexterity is. We'll say the guard has 16 Wisdom? It could be maybe 18 at the most or potentially much lower. If I recall correctly, this guard is going to be under the DC a legendary rogue can just not roll and auto-succeed with the right skill feat. Supposing the rogue didn't bother with that skill feat but does have some kind of magic cloak , we're looking at a situation where the rogue's bonus of ~+28 is going to roughly equal or surpass the guard's DC of 28 (we don't have opposed rolls) leading to near certitude of success. Even if the level 15 trained guard somehow had 18 Wisdom and some kind of magic goggles boosting him to a DC of 31, the equal level legendary rogue is still looking at a 90% chance of success. If the guard was actually untrained? It's even easier, though that just doesn't seem plausible for a level 15 guard.

My question is why have level 15 guards at all? Why is this 'incredibly powerful figure on the world's stage' standing around in the rain looking for stray rogues?

Especially if a level 15 PC is just going to blow past his [perception based DC for stealth checks?] anyway, regardless if the PC takes the auto-succeed ability or not [but requires the magical junk that isn't required to get the high enough bonus? The cloak comment threw me off].

So I guess the level 15 guard is making me wonder if always level appropriate opposition is simply baked into the system as an assumption, because it seems very strange for such people to even exist,

You'll have to ask Fallyrion Dunegrién. I didn't come up with the example; I filled in the picture with some math.

OK? But, picture aside (fill in whatever level appropriate thing you like), if the math is such that the the encounter is solved by auto-pass or a pile of numbers that essentially equates to an auto-pass, I'm not clear what the point is.

Either the point of the auto-passing, since 'pile up bonuses together until they're off the random number generator' is still an option, and the second case indicates it is.

Or the point of having that sort of encounter at all, if it's just stamped 'solved' by one method or the other.

In either case, it seems like the 'challenge' of an encounter is entirely absent. If the player had the system mastery way before level 15 to make the right proficiency choices as they leveled, they get to just handwave challenges at higher levels. That... doesn't really sound fun or engaging.

I'm still wondering about level-appropriate opposition being an always-baked-in assumption, too.


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JoelF847 wrote:
As for some of the near superhuman abilities a Legendary training non-magical character can do, I saw someone mention upstream stage magicians. After seeing the Illusionists show last night, that was top of mind for me as well. The guy who did the Houdini upside down straight jacket escape in 60 seconds clearly was legendary in escape artist, and the guy who seemed to create cards for about 5 minutes straight was legendary at slight of hand (or thievery now - I'd think he'd be pretty good with locks if he's that much a master of fine tuned manipulations.)

I think those guys are Masters at best. Someone who's Legendary at Escape Artist is escaping a Maze spell, or basically has always on, [Ex] freedom of movement.

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